A country preacher stands at a raised podium just outside the entrance of Jack’s Frightmare Forest at SeaWorld San Antonio. He delivers a brief message in a somber tone about the importance of facing your fears. He then ushers you into one of the most spooky haunted walks around.
At the Austinot, we often venture within a day’s drive of Austin if we think something’s really special and worth doing.
This is definitely one of those things.
Is The SeaWorld Face Your Fears Tour Worth It?
Most people we know love theme parks. We love them too. But there is something magical about taking a VIP tour at one of America’s top theme parks which, in our case, is just a short drive away from Austin.
Many people may say or think that the price isn’t worth it…until they try it.
Read on, and trust me when I tell you that this tour is one of those experiences that you’ll be talking about for a lifetime.
Last weekend, Brittany and I were invited to Sea World San Antonio to check out the the Face Your Fears Tour. We’re still talking about it and have already recommended it to friends in Austin.
What Do I Get from the Face Your Fears Tour?
The Face Your Fears Tour is a guided, behind the scenes look at SeaWorld San Antonio’s seasonal event: Howl-O-Scream. The Tour provides you and your group with
- A dedicated guide
- VIP seating at all shows
- Front of the line access to all three haunted houses
- Special photo opportunities
- Meet and greet with the cast and crew of one of the coolest shows we’ve seen in a long time, Monster Stomp
Here’s a sample itinerary for the Face Your Fears Tour (times may change slightly):
2:55 PM: Meet your dedicated guide – A spooky and knowledgeable guide meets your party and explains the evening’s schedule of events. Your guide then immediately leads you to your first exclusive and behind-the-scenes stop…
3:00 PM: Behind the Scenes at Jack’s Frightmare Forest - “Jack” is the host of the Howl-O-Scream event at Sea World. He’s a prankster of a character who transforms SeaWorld into one huge Halloween party, with the help of his minions. There are three Howl-O-Scream “haunted houses,” but the main attraction is Jack’s Frightmare Forest. The Face Your Fears Tour leads you behind the scenes, with a daylight explanation of the Forest and what makes it all work. The Frightmare Forest is divided into 11 sections, each dealing with a common (or not so common) fear. I don’t want to spoil all the surprises, but let’s just say you’re bound to be spooked by at least one of these fears.
3:30 PM: Costume and Makeup Demonstration - An exclusive opportunity to learn about the art of makeup and costuming from a master makeup artist. A live demonstration is performed on at least one volunteer from your group. And it’s quite possible that Jack himself will show up in all his spooky glory.
4:15 PM: Meet and Greet with the Monster Stomp Cast and Crew - Another private and exclusive event where your tour meets with various members of the Monster Stomp cast and crew. On our tour, we got to meet the stage manager, dance captain and drum captain and hear from them directly about their roles. We also got to ask a ton of questions about the show. Getting the inside scoop makes this world-class show even more special when you see it for yourself later in the evening.
4:30 PM: Free time - The VIP, head of the line, private seating, behind the scenes stuff is great, but sometimes you just want to explore on your own. SeaWorld gets that. So for roughly three hours, you’re on your own. This is a great time to take your smaller ones through the Frightmare Forest for the 4:30 PM show (which is much more kid friendly than the evening shows). And make sure you grab a bite to eat.
7:15 PM: Clyde and Seamore’s Monster Mix-Up Show - Priority, up-front seating for this delightfully entertaining show, featuring sea lions and an otter interacting with their human counterparts. This Halloween-themed show is one of SeaWorld’s most popular events. We were laughing out loud, and you should’ve seen the “real” kids!
8:00 PM: Monster Stomp - Sitting right up front next to the stage, you’ll be floored by this show. Having met the cast and crew at 4:15, it’s fun to see them costumed on stage doing their thing. Monster Stomp is truly the most unique show that SeaWorld has ever put on. The dancing, drums, lighting, music and energy emanating from this show will leave you breathless. It was one of my favorite parts of the Face Your Fears Tour.
8:30 PM: The Haunted Houses - Ready for back-to-back haunted houses? Remember, no waiting in line for you. Your guide will take you to Den of the Departed, Jack’s S.O.S. Maze and, of course, Jack’s Frightmare Forest. Den of the Departed was a scream (pardon the pun), and the S.O.S. Maze was fun and the most kid-friendly (especially the moving bridge that makes you feel like you’re going to fall). We capped our scary time off with the Frightmare Forest. As we went through, Brittany recited what she had learned from our behind-the-scenes tour earlier in the day, to keep from being too freaked out!
10:00 PM: Shamu’s Rockin Creep Show - No trip to SeaWorld would ever be complete without a Shamu show. This Halloween-themed show features our host Jack popping in and out all over the stadium, skeleton-clad hosts, great music and the magnificent stars of SeaWorld San Antonio – the killer whales. As a Face Your Fears Tour guest, you have reserved, priority seating. And hey, Jack might even pop out right next to you.
My Thoughts on the Face Your Fears Tour
Honestly, our guides were excellent. Brian, Mason and Colleen, you three rock! The tour was paced very well and the red carpet treatment was definitely in effect. Colleen, our main guide, even held our cameras and drinks for us as we ventured into the haunted houses.
All of the shows were fantastic. The Monster Stomp was incredibly well done. And the last show of the night (“Jack is Back”), which is open to everyone, was Las Vegas-show caliber. Jack Is Back is Jack’s closing ceremony, and it takes place right before the park closes for the night. I was pretty exhausted by this time and almost didn’t stick around. But I’m glad I did. The show was excellent and the crowd really gets into it. When there’s such a high level of energy so late in the evening, you know that everyone is having a great time.
I’m sure you can tell by now that I had a blast doing the Face Your Fears Tour. SeaWorld is a magical place to begin with, but when you add the VIP treatment and get the behind-the-scenes look, you’ll wonder why you’ve never done it before.
How Much Does the Face Your Fears Tour Cost
The VIP portion of the tour is $70 per person, which is in addition to the price of park admission. Again, don’t balk at the price. What you get for your money will leave you with lifelong memories. Stuff like this is why we work so hard anyway, right? Take a shot; you’ll enjoy it.
If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them. Just comment below.
Have you ever had a VIP theme park experience? What did you think?